Sports Law

Holborn Adams is a specialist law firm, acting for a range of high-net-worth individuals and sports professionals in business, regulatory and criminal law matters.

No professional sportsperson envisages a position where they require a dispute resolution lawyer. However, our sport law team has a vast amount of experience in successfully representing those involved in professional sports. Discretion and media management are a priority, so rest assured that our intervention can help keep high-profile players or management out of the media spotlight.

Adam Rasul, Senior Partner at Holborn Adams, has excellent personal and professional relationships with sports professionals at all levels. Acting for a number of professional sportspeople, sports agents and managers—including international footballers and world champion boxers—he is known for his personal service and calm manner, even in the most difficult situations.

Andrew Ford is one of Holborn Adams’ most respected criminal lawyers, and acts as an agent and adviser among sports professionals and coaches. He played at a high level in both cricket and rugby in the UK and, as such, brings a wide network of contacts to his work as an advisor and manager. He represents not only individuals but also organisations, clubs and governing bodies.

Holborn Adams also retains Chris Daw QC, a leading Criminal and Regulatory Barrister, as a consultant to the firm. Chris has acted for leading sports professionals at the very highest level, in some of the most high-profile cases of recent years.

Our sport law team is experienced in the following:

  • Anti-Doping proceedings
  • Endorsements
  • Arbitral tribunals
  • FIFA proceedings
  • Appeals against disqualification
  • Financial negotiations
  • Compliance issues
  • Influencer rights
  • Contract negotiations
  • Intellectual property & image rights
  • Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • Investigations
  • Defending criminal allegations
  • Marketing rights
  • Defending motoring related matters
  • Negotiating with sports licensing bodies
  • Disciplinary proceedings
  • Players’ rights

All of our sports clients are assured of the highest levels of professional service and complete confidentiality at all times.

We recommend that you contact Adam Rasul or Andrew Ford immediately should any legal issue arise, rather than waiting for a crisis to develop. We can assure you of a rapid response.

NB- For GDPR reasons and cases conducted outside media / social media there are many high profile cases we are unable to report.

The below will give you a flavour as to why Adam is one of the market leaders for sports law.

Recent Notable Cases

Professional Footballer

Former England (Football) Captain

Professional Footballer

Current player in England Football Team and Premier League

Professional Footballer

Acted for Premier League footballer in a criminal litigation matter.

Liam Smith

(Held WBO light – middleweight title from 2015 – 2016). Held British and Commonwealth light-middleweight titles between 2012 – 2015

Stephen Smith

Super- featherweight world champion; the IBF and WBA titles, both in 2016

Scott Quigg

Adam headed up Team Quigg. He advised Scott from amateur, professional and through to retirement. Adam looked after Scott for thirteen years straight. Taking him through to super fights with Carl Frampton and travelled the world with Scott. He is a former British WBA – Super bantamweight world champion.

Lawrence Okolie

WBO World Title Holder. Adam has been acting as Lawrence’s legal advisor and orchestrated his move to top professional coach Shane McGuigan.

Frazer Clarke

Bronze medalist Tokyo 2020 and Captain of GB Boxing. Adam is Frazer’s first team member and appointed legal advisor.

Callum Johnson

Challenged the IBF light heavy weight title. Held the commonwealth light heavy weight title and the British light heavy weight title.

Anthony Crolla

Former WBA lightweight title holder from 2015 – 2016. Challenged the unified WBA and WBO lightweight titles in 2019

Paul Butler

Held the IBF bantamweight title in 2014 and challenged the IBF super fly weight title in 2015. Held multiple regional titles, including the British and Commonwealth super – flyweight titles in 2012 and 2013

Gabriel Rosado

American professional boxer (super middleweight). Boxing from the Wildcard Gym, Los Angeles

Professional Boxing Coach – McGuigan’s Gym

Advising/assisting Shane McGuigan and family when they require legal guidance and advice.

Professional Boxing Coach – Freddie Roach

Hall of Fame Boxing Coach of the Wildcard Gym. Trainer to Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Amir Khan, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Miguel Cotto and many more World Champions. Adam has been working with Freddie for nearly a decade and have become close friends with him / management.

Professional Boxing Coach – Dave Coldwell

Former British professional boxer. Coach to retired boxer Tony Bellew and currently coaching a successful stables in Sheffield.

Professional Boxing Coach – Joe Gallagher

Professional Boxing Coach (Gallagher’s Gym). Awarded trainer of the year award by Ring Magazine

Boxing Promotors

  • Eddie Hearn -Promotor and Chairman of Matchroom Sport
  • Barry Hearn OBE – Founder of Matchroom Sport
  • Tom Loeffler -Promotor and founder of GGG promotions, 360 promotions and K2 promotions
Jodie Ounsley

England Rugby 7s / Sale Sharks

Jamal Ford Robinson

Premiership Rugby / Gloucester Rugby Club

Michael Van Gerwen

Dutch professional darts player. Ranked number three in the world, having been world number one from 2014 – 2021

Liam Broady

Professional tennis player and current British No 4.

Recent case studies

Supporting and guiding individuals, both in the UK and beyond, to secure results.

R v N

Outcome: No further action

Following the submission of pre-charge representations to the police after the client was accused of perverting the course of justice, the client was granted a no further action. This no further action was appealed, and the client was then investigated for an accusation of perjury. After repeated liaison and pressure upon the officer in case on evidential grounds, the client was granted a further no further action.

R v M

Outcome: No further action

The client was accused of torture and battery abroad. The client and the alleged victim were citizens of the United Kingdom. While criminal proceedings against our client took place abroad, we drafted a crisis management bundle for the client consisting of a chronological statement, full binders of complex evidential material and an index referring to the same, which outlined the client’s innocence to pre-empt the matter proceeding to the United Kingdom. After liaison with the client and his international lawyers, the criminal case abroad halted and the client’s interests in the United Kingdom were protected against the unproven accusations.

R v B

Outcome: Significantly reduced sentence

The client was charged with a motoring offence involving alcohol and speeding. After a close inspection of the case, we advanced mitigation alongside Counsel in reference to strong medical and psychiatric evidence. This secured the client a favourable sentence in which the aggravating elements of the offence were set aside, with the client subject to a fine and a driving disqualification.

R v K

Outcome: Removal of Caution and Settlement

We provided advanced written representations challenging the process by which a client was awarded a simple caution by West Mercia Police. We identified that the officers in the case had bartered with the client in his police interview while he was experiencing suicidality and a severe depressive episode. The officers informed the client they would provide him with his personal and work devices back if the client accepted a caution. We successfully argued that the client was cautioned for an offence he did not commit, prompting the removal of his caution by the relevant Police and Crime Commissioner. We then entered into pre-litigation negotiations with West Mercia Police, securing a pecuniary settlement the client.

R v ZH

Outcome: Client released

Following representation at the police station, the client was accused of perverting the course of justice. The evidence relied upon by the police was rightfully identified as circumstantial. Client was later released under investigation.

R v A

Outcome: Acquitted

Client accused of murdering his former girlfriend. We formed a Defence team that secured the acquittal of the client with specialist Counsel.

R v L

Outcome: Acquitted of rape

Client attempted murder and accused of raping his wife following the incident. We formed part of Defence team alongside Counsel.


Outcome: Successfully brought action against prison staff

We formed part of legal team who successfully brought action against a British prison on behalf of client following injury and discrimination they faced. The client was an elderly Jewish prisoner who was discriminated against for wearing his kippa in canteen areas, who was denied Kosher meals, regularly facing anti-Semitic abuse from prison staff and was denied medical attention after his diverticulosis worsened, which partially immobilised him.


Outcome: Claim Settled

Claim settled with the Government Legal Department for the unlawful detention of a client who, if deported to their country of origin, would have had an extreme risk to their life as a transgender individual. The client had gained a recognised status in the United Kingdom, making the extent of their detention unlawful and their (potential) removal impossible.


Outcome: Ongoing

Retained to defend a client with allegations of VAT and income tax fraud. We have prepared written submissions to the CPS to the effect that criminal charges would not be in the public interest

S v HO & Others

Outcome: Ongoing

Holborn Adams is retained by two clients in a vast cross-border human trafficking and a multi-million pound fraud investigation by both UK and Polish authorities. Our Senior Partner, Adam Rasul travelled to Poland to liaise with the clients’ Polish lawyers as part of a coordinated legal response. Written representations have been submitted to the CPS that the investigation failed to follow proper procedures and that the case should be reviewed at the highest level.

United States v EL

Outcome: Ongoing

Holborn Adams is retained to assist and advise on an international drug trafficking investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Our Senior Partner, Adam Rasul, travelled to Washington DC and Virginia to represent the interests of a British Citizen implicated in a large-scale drug trafficking conspiracy. Adam is working jointly with United States Attorneys in preparation of the client’s case.


Outcome: Ongoing

Retained to make enquiries into the police handling and conduct of an historic incident.

Q v I

Outcome: Ongoing

Instructed in relation to an appeal against sentence and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 confiscation order in relation to conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs to the value of £5,000,000

W v LA

Outcome: Ongoing

Retained to advise on an appeal against conviction for murder (‘Joint enterprise’) where we did not act at trial. This involves detailed review of ‘what went wrong’ in the trial and investigating evidence and legal errors that may be used to overturn the conviction

S v KE


Represented a client in a wave of Operations by Greater Manchester Police of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. This case involved consideration of a voluminous amount of telephone evidence and a large investigation across the North West.

R v NP

Outcome: No further action

Acted for a client cleared of attempted murder in the course of a ‘drive-by shooting’ in Birmingham following a successful submission of no case to answer.

S v KA


Acted for a Czech national facing multiple rape charges and false imprisonment. A case that involved Czech translators and hundreds of hours of defence preparation.

U v I


Assisted in the preparation and defence on a 14 handed corruption and perjury case, surrounding the notorious prosecution of the ‘Cardiff 3’ for the murder of Lynette White. This was the largest ever case of police corruption in legal history. The £30,000,000 prosecution ended in the collapse of the case and not guilty verdicts.

I v BI


Represented a client charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. This case was a multi-million pound international drug trafficking and confiscation case. Investigated by the SOCA and involved international jurisdictions and surveillance.

Y v E


Acted for the main defendant charged with Conspiracy to Murder. This involved extensive defence preparation of cell site analysis extending over 20,000 pages of evidence at the initial stages of the case.

S v RH


Acted for the main defendant in a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, possession of firearms and human trafficking. Extensive surveillance evidence and hundreds of hours of audio product from probes placed in vehicles.

B v ND


Instructed to act for the main defendant in a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Prosecution and investigation brought by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). Extensive preparation and review of hundreds of hours of covert surveillance and detailed disclosure applications to the Court.

T v DE & Others


Represented a client charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and firearms offences.



Instructed to draft an advice on UK law in respect of the use of cannabis for the United Arab Emirates Courts. The advice was translated into Arabic and was presented to the UAE courts on behalf of an overseas client.

N v PX


Represented the lead defendant on the largest commercial cannabis cultivation and supply conspiracy in UK History. Stock value estimated at £20,000,000 by the prosecution authorities.



Represented a client (pre-charge) facing alleged offences, including fraudulent evasion of VAT contrary to the VAT Act 1994, investigated by the HMRC Criminal Team. We obtained medical evidence and other defence evidence as part of a pre-charge representations package.

R v LC


Acted for a client facing multi-million pound money laundering allegations. This prosecution arose from a previous case (‘Operation Shoot’) into this case known as ‘Operation Echogramme’. The case involved analysis of evidence from conveyance material stemming over tens of thousands of pages.

R v GY & UH


Successfully defended clients charged with conspiracy to defraud to the value of £25,000.000. This case involved over 10 months of full-time preparation to test the allegations presented by HMRC.

S v EB


Successfully defended a client charged with multi-million pound money laundering. This case involved criminal proceeds that had allegedly been transferred from Latvian bank accounts into UK-based companies. Due to the level of the client’s business activity, all aspects of his lifestyle were financially interrogated.

R v ND


Acted for a Chartered Accountant charged with false accounting. After intense defence preparation with the assistance of expert forensic accountants, the client was acquitted after trial. The defence successfully exposed that the Inland Revenue staff were dishonestly taking bribes to process claims.

A v D

Outcome: Significantly reduce sentence

Represented a husband and wife investigated for mortgage fraud. Forensic defence preparation led to lesser charges being brought against by both clients and a non-custodial sentence.

U v V


Acted for the main defendant in a prosecution investigated by Trading Standards. The client was charged with 400 separate offences which involved thousands of pages of evidence on behalf of Nike, Adidas, Hugo Boss and other high-profile clothing brands.

S v L


Acted for a client charged with Copyright Fraud – prosecution by F.A.C.T (Federation Against Copyright Theft). The preparation for this matter involved taking instructions on over 4.2 million pages of evidence with a large defence team. One of the largest private prosecutions ever undertaken.

S v BD


Acted for a Director investigated for fraud related offences involving a Professional Football Club. A case brought by the Football Association (FA) from events dating back to March 2001. The SFO took over the investigation, leading to 19 charges including false accounting, furnishing false information and theft.

W v YU


Acted for a Senior Dentist charged with false accounting. The proceedings attracted wide media attention and was prosecuted by the NHS Counter Fraud Team.

Q v J


Acted for a Company Director facing serious money laundering allegations in relation to alleged criminal property. A multi-handed conspiracy at an alleged value of £4.2 million.

A v LD

Outcome: Significantly reduced sentence

14 handed corruption and fraud case involving Trafford City Council in Manchester. One of the largest ever investigations into alleged fraud by Senior Council employees. Client received a suspended sentence and walked free after an investigation that lasted 8 years.

E v YG


Successfully defended a businessman against a European Arrest Warrant (EAW). The client was alleged to be a significant figure in a money laundering conspiracy in the Netherlands. The case outlined procedural errors in the EAW and continuous defence preparation revealed significant flaws in the investigation.

K v MJ


(‘Operation Euripus trial 5’) – represented a former Times Rich List client accused of money laundering from the proceeds of multi-million VAT fraud. The case involved prosecution and defence enquiries in Spain, Gibraltar, Dubai, Hong Kong, China and the Caribbean.

R v ZY

Outcome: No further action

Senior Partner, Adam Rasul successfully defended the largest VAT fraud recorded in UK history (£330,000,000). After extensive case preparation and a six-year investigation, the client was discharged from criminal proceedings and the matter was discontinued.

R v TC

Outcome: No further action

Successfully represented a Doctor pre-charge in relation to an allegation of domestic violence. Representations made on behalf of the client resulted in no further action being taken and no General Medical Council intervention.

R v DN

Outcome: No further action

Represented a client investigated for an alleged serious assault. After extensive pre-charge preparation, which entailed collating witness evidence and early representations, no further action was taken.

D v JS

Outcome: No further action

Successfully represented client on allegations of racial and threatening behaviour. Following pre-charge representations to the Reviewing Lawyer at the CPS and collating witness evidence, we persuaded the CPS that there was insufficient evidence to make a formal charge and no further action was taken.

S v EX

Outcome: No further action

Successfully represented client on allegations of racial and threatening behaviour. Following pre-charge representations to the Reviewing Lawyer at the CPS and collating witness evidence, we persuaded the CPS that there was insufficient evidence to make a formal charge and no further action was taken.

R v L

Outcome: No further action

Instructed to represent invididual arrested in relation to cohersive and controlling behaviour. Submitted pre-charge representations and due to the comprehensive nature of the representation, no further action was taken by the Crown Prosecution Service.

R v K

Outcome: Significantly reduced sentence

Represented professional individual in relation to a third drink driving offence and driving whilst disqualified. Holborn Adams successfully mitigated on the clients behalf, resulting in a stand alone suspended sentence order.

R v O

Outcome: No further action

Instructed to represent a client in relation to an allegation of rape. Holborn Adams put forward pre-charge representations which resulted in no further action being taken by the Crown Prosecution Service.

R v B

Outcome: Early release from prison

Successful representation at Parole Hearing, securing clients early release from custody.

Q v IL

Outcome: No further action

Successfully represented a high-net-worth client on allegations of racism and threats to kill. Following our early intervention, which included gathering key defence material, the client avoided police arrest and we persuaded the police and CPS not to make formal criminal charges. The client was able to retain his right to travel to the United States and Canada without restriction.


Outcome: No further action

Holborn Adams successfully defended a serious pension fraud investigation. The DWP/CPS accepted Holborn Adams’ pre-charge representations. The client avoided criminal prosecution and further investigation.


Outcome: No further action

Represented a vulnerable adult in a DWP criminal fraud investigation. Following negotiations and pre-charge representations, we persuaded the DWP to discontinue the criminal investigation and not to press formal charges against the client.

N v ON

Outcome: No further action

Successfully represented a Senior Doctor pre-charge in respect of an alleged multi-million pound fraud against the NHS. After intense defence preparation and preparation of a full bundle of defence evidence, no further action was taken against the client. The client faced a joint regulatory and police prosecution, and both investigations were discontinued.


Outcome: No further action

A substantial and lengthy investigation into a multi-million pound VAT fraud case was discontinued against Holborn Adams’ client. Following years of investigation, the CPS and HMRC accepted Holborn Adams’ detailed pre-charge representations and discontinued their investigation. As a result, the client no longer faced criminal prosecution or Confiscation proceedings.

HMRC v B & C

Outcome: Significantly reduce charges

An investigation that commenced in 2011 was brought to a successful conclusion by the Holborn Adams’ Serious Fraud Team. Extensive pre-charge representations at interview and powerful client statements resulted in an extensive list of charges being ‘dropped’ against our client by HMRC investigators. These included conspiracy to cheat the public revenue, conspiracy to undertake fraudulent activity, and making and supplying articles for use in fraud and money laundering. The value of the alleged crimes was estimated at £5,000,000.


Outcome: Ongoing

Retained to bring a Civil claim agianst the Metropolitan Police for various failings on their behalf, including malicious prosection and unlawful racial discrimination.

T v E

Outcome: Property returned to our Client

Holborn Adams successfully worked on behalf of the client to secure the return of property considered as chatells under British Law.


Outcome: Ongoing

Holborn Adams are instructed on a retained basis to manage all legal affairs and PR related issues for a high-profile former premier league footballer.


Outcome: Ongoing

Retained to negotiate sporting contracts in relation to sponsorship deals and team contracts. Also involved in the management of all legal affairs and PR related issues


Outcome: No further action

Retained to deal with an ongoing criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, lasting over two years.

Holborn Adams - Why choose us

Holborn Adams has a phenomenal success rate of pre-charge defence, meaning that individuals can avoid criminal charge altogether.

We provide legal advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with direct access to some of the country’s leading specialist counsel and Queen’s Counsel.

What makes us different


Solve your legal problem today

* Initial assessment call with a solicitor to allow a legal advice plan to be prepared.